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Living in Holt: the local area guide

Tucked up in the far north of East Anglia is Holt, a beautiful little market town with bags of character and a very independent spirit. The town has been a centre for trade since the medieval times, thanks to its proximity to the port at Cley, but in 1708 its medieval buildings were destroyed by a fire that left Holt in ruins.

However, this disaster actually turned out to be to Holt’s advantage as it was quickly rebuilt with many beautiful Georgian buildings that sit around a spacious market square and line the jumble of lanes and alleys that lie on the edge of the high street. In recent years the town has been developed to feature a number of ‘yards’, each of which contain a number of shops around a courtyard that allows for easy shopping with no concern about traffic. These yards contain a mixture of boutique shops, art galleries and cafes, making Holt to delightful place to both live and work.

Holt is surrounded by some of the most beautiful countryside the UK has to offer and has Holt Country Park, Spout Hills and Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty within very easy reach. It’s also perfectly placed if you enjoy the sea, with the coast, and the seaside towns of Sheringham and Wells-next-the-Sea just a short drive away.


In the 2001 census Holt had 3,550 residents, a number which grew to 3,810 in 2011, marking Holt as a steadily growing community. Holt has low unemployment, with only 2.4% of its working age population claiming Job Seeker Allowance. Holt also has a good track record when it comes to education: 79.2% of pupils attained 5 or more GCSE grade A to C, compared to 71.2% for Norfolk.


Holt is within the catchment area for Sheringham High School, which was given an overall rating of ‘good’ by Ofsted, with some areas being ‘outstanding’. The school places particular emphasis on behaviour and students ‘readily take responsibility supporting each other and have highly positive attitudes to their learning’.

Holt Community Primary School is located within the town itself and has been described as being ‘good’. The school places particular emphasis on sport and a ‘very high’ number of pupils attend an extensive range of after school clubs. Behaviour is good and ‘pupils enjoy learning and are often excited in lessons’.


Holt sits on the A148, putting it within easy reach of Fakenham and Kings Lynn to the east, Cromer to the west and Norwich to the south. It’s well served by buses, with services running daily from Holt to Norwich, stopping at Cromer and Sheringham on the way.

Holt no longer has a railway station but it’s only a short bus or car journey to Sheringham, which has good rail links to Norwich and from there and on to the rest of the country. Holt is a 30-minute car journey from Norwich airport, which serves other major UK cities and some European destinations.

Amenities and shopping

Shoppers will be spoilt for choice in Holt. The town is stuffed to bursting point with boutiques, galleries, antique shops, bookstores and cafes, all pleasantly arranged around the market square or hidden away down the many lanes and yards in the town.

Of particular renown is Bakers and Larners Department Store, which sells clothes, food and plants, amongst many other items, and also has an award winning food hall. The town has a butcher, a fishmonger and a bakery; art galleries and craft stores; many restaurants, cafes and pubs, and plenty of clothes shops, and the majority of them are independently owned.

Every summer the town hosts Holt Festival, a weekend of internationally renowned music, theatre, dance, cinema, comedy and fine art, which is now in its 8th year. Holt is also well known for its Christmas lights, when the whole town is lit up by thousands of beautiful white fairy lights for the whole of the festive season.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.

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